"We are excited to welcome Dr. Hodge to the North Park University community," Dr. Joseph Jones, University provost. "His work and commitment to serve in the field of youth ministry studies will be a great asset in our vision to engage students, youth workers and pastors in the growth and development of youth throughout this country."
Hodge brings 18 years of urban youth experience with organizations such as Young Life and World Vision, as well as related scholarship, speaking, teaching and writing experience to his new role. "I believe this is a natural fit with the work I've been doing," he said in an interview. "I've always heard great things about North Park University. I'm excited because it really fulfills what I've been doing most of my life. I'm looking forward to making this a national center for resources and for people wanting to do youth ministry."
A factor in his decision to join the University was its emphasis on diversity and justice, and the fact that those themes resonate throughout the North Park University community, he said. The University's Christian environment and its urban emphasis because of its location in Chicago were other influential factors, Hodge said.